Cough and cold symptoms go through schools and daycare facilities like wildfire, and sometimes it’s difficult to know when your child’s cough is a symptom of a minor bug and when it is more serious. Children, especially when they are very young, often cannot verbalize their symptoms effectively to tell you what they are feeling. Here are a few symptoms to look out for that could mean your child’s cough is serious.
Cough With Fever
When your child’s cough is accompanied by fever, this is a sign that you are dealing with more than a simple cold. Fever is associated with the flu and other viral and bacterial illnesses that can rapidly become serious enough to require hospitalization. If your child is less than three months old and has any fever associated with cough, or if your child is older and has a high fever (greater than 38.2 degrees), it’s time to consult your physician.
Cough With Cyanosis
Cyanosis, or a bluish tinge to the lips and fingernails, occurs when your child is unable to take in adequate amounts of oxygen. If your child has a cough, this may be due to either coughing so hard that he or she is having difficulty breathing, or due to the disease that is causing the cough making air exchange inside the lungs difficult. You may also see your child struggling to breathe or breathing much harder or faster than usual. These are all reasons to consult a physician immediately.
Cough With “Whooping” Sound
If your child has continuous fits of coughing, after which he or she takes a deep breath with a “whooping” sound, he or she may have whooping cough. This is a serious and highly contagious infection caused by the Pertussis bacteria, which often occurs in regional outbreaks. Although immunisation is recommended, sporadic whooping cough outbreaks still occur, and in young children, can cause brain damage and even death.
Cough With Blood
Coughing up blood is a sign that your child’s cough is severe enough to cause damage inside the airways and lungs. This damage makes it easier for bacteria to cause pneumonia, which can rapidly become serious and even life-threatening. It also can cause damage that is severe enough to cause scarring in the lungs and respiratory problems later in life. If your child is coughing up blood, consult a physician immediately in order to protect your child’s ability to breathe efficiently both now and later in life.
When your child coughs, look out for these symptoms to help you decide if your child has a simple cold that will soon pass and are able to use an over the counter cough medicine, or if he or she needs to see a physician for something more serious. When you know the signs of danger, you can feel more confident that you making the choice that is best for your child, and when in doubt, always consult a trusted healthcare provider.
Mandy is a stay-at-home mum with 2 children in primary school, in her past time she loves to garden, travel, bake and write blogs for other stay at home mums or just anyone who is interested in arts and crafts ideas.